A few days ago, President Barack Obama gave his 2014 State of the Union address. The much-anticipated speech was not only underwhelming and misleading in content, but questions of plagiarism have risen as well. Wonderful.
The president did, however, succeed in a few areas. Let’s start with the positives. The always enthralling and charismatic personality utilized his captivating story telling and speaking skills yet again. He told anecdotes to win over Americans. It’s a brilliant strategy. Really though, when a political leader is able to successfully display his apparent concern for individuals it is priceless. He told the story of Misty DeMars, (23:28 in SOTU Video) the mother who’s unemployment insurance was cut off. And he ended by telling the story of a brave army ranger, Cory Remsburg (59:36 in SOTU Video). These two narratives managed to exemplify two common situations for Americans today; one struggling with unemployment and tax issues, another risking his life for our country and freedoms. This, Obama executed brilliantly.
As wonderful as his public speaking abilities are, he continues to prove he lacks any real leadership ability. Why is this true? Well, someone who is capable of twisting facts and statistics in such a dramatic manner really shouldn’t be in any sort of leadership position. Don’t we want a leader who is transparent and willing to compromise? Whatever your stance may be on the Affordable Care Act(ACA), shouldn’t Obama have realized how unsuccessful the rollout was and taken real action? He was more than aware of the flaws before the rollout and he pushed to proceed anyway. Now that over five million people have lost their insurance, you would think he might show some sympathy for those millions, but instead he bragged about its “success.” Despite his poor judgment in that area he should have been willing to make changes;
from the beginning, but now would be good too.
Initially, the president had no need to compromise because he had the majority in the House and Senate. However, an effective leader would have understood that a bill this massive would eventually need bipartisan support. Such a leader would have come up with a plan to gain that support and be willing to make some changes. Isn’t compromise a big part of how our country was founded and how our constitution was established? Obama on the other on, decided to proceed with his large majority in Congress and ignore the people who represent the other half of this country. Subsequently, he will be remembered for this failing piece of legislation. The founding fathers would be so proud.
So not only is the president incapable of compromise or adjusting his strategy when faced with failure, but he is kind of a hypocrite too. Sounds harsh, right? But, he has been accused of using lines from president Bush’s 2007 State of the Union address.
Marc Thiessen, the lead writer for President Bush’s 2007 State of the Union address, explained how many parts of President Obama’s speech this year sounded extremely familiar. So why is it okay to label Obama as hypocritical? Because after so much bashing of Bush’s strategies, Obama turns around and uses exact lines out of his speech. Classy.
So what should Obama have said? Admitting to his faults and coming up with solutions to proceed would have been a good place to start. Anything of substance really would have been better. These are some of the many reasons why this years’ SOTU address is really quite historically insignificant.